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‘Captivating and beautifully written.’ Mirror
From the bestselling author of Apple Tree Yard comes this story of three generations of one Romany family in England, as they face family life, love and marriage along with the changes and upheavals for Travelling people at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Clementina Smith is just a young girl when she gives birth to her illegitimate son, Elijah, in a graveyard in Victorian Cambridgeshire. Others have been put out on the highroad for less, but Clementina’s parents stick by her and Elijah grows up greatly loved by his small but tight-knit family. But then he meets Rose, a non-Romany girl.
Based on Louise Doughty’s own family history, Stone Cradle is a love triangle between a mother, a son and his wife that asks whether the Romany spirit and traditions can survive as rural Britain moves into the modern world.
Doughty has a subtle, unshowy talent that packs an emotional punch... Stone Cradle moves and impresses in equal measure.
Doughty's evocative writing conjures up a lost world, where people lived by Romany lore and the rule of the seasons. The mud and cold, the endless insecurity of a travelling life, and society's hostility to them are vividly portrayed. It's a compulsively readable story, both informative and moving.
An evocative novel that paints a vivid portrait of three generations of a family and the ties that bind them.
A rich portrait of a Romany family in 19th century Britain ... In the end, this warm, wry, wonderfully engaging novel is as much abut the familiar fictional territory of motherhood as it is about the challenges of living with another race.
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